The project included the instalment of inside bathrooms and plumbing; levelling the yard; making the house one level; plastering and putting up a fence.
It also included sponsorship for a suitable wheelchair, finding placement for Maphumulo in a centre for youth with disabilities, conducting a medical assessment on him, as well as getting sponsorship to replace old furniture.
Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu became aware of Maphumulo’s plight last year when she came to the house to hand over a donated wheelchair to the young man. This was in response to a letter written by his grandmother, Sophie Khumalo, 72, who asked for help for her grandson.
The Deputy Minister, who was then Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, made a commitment to help the family.
Seeing the renovated house on Friday, Khumalo shed tears of joy knowing that the struggle of moving her grandson around, especially to the toilet, was over.
“I use to wake up at about 2am and take him to the toilet but today, I will enjoy my sleep as he now has a new toilet inside his bedroom and can move outside the yard without my assistance,” said Khumalo.
Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu said she was satisfied with the project, as they were part of the process and gave the construction company advice on how to fix and adapt the house.
“We are happy to be involved in this project and the outcome of it. We are also happy that we could ease gogo’s burden and make sure that she can do other things and be active in the community once again, without being worried about Siyabonga when she leaves him behind in the house,” the Deputy Minister said.
She, however, emphasised that housing is not her department’s function but that of Human Settlements, but they couldn’t turn a blind eye after seeing the situation at Khumalo’s home.